Within days of accusing her co-star of sexual harassment, Eliza Dushku was fired.

For months Eliza Dushku kept quiet about her accusations of harassment against Bull co-star, Michael Weatherly. Though she’d raised her claims with him, with her manager, with the show’s producers, a US$9.5 million (roughly AU$13.3 million) settlement with network CBS blocked her from taking them further.

But this week, Dushku felt she just couldn’t keep quiet any longer.

In an op-ed published in The Boston Globe, the former star of Buffy and Bring it On, wrote that she was compelled to speak out against Weatherly, after The New York Times published details of the “secret” settlement earlier this week.

In the blistering piece, Dushku claims she was sacked from the legal drama shortly after raising allegations of on-set harassment against the 50-year-old star. Harassment that claims became workplace bullying and left her “feeling dread” whenever he was near.

It began early on, she wrote.

“He regularly commented on my ‘ravishing’ beauty, following up with audible groans, oohing and aahing. As the [set] tapes show, he liked to boast about his sperm and vasectomy reversals (‘I want you to know, Eliza, I have powerful swimmers’),” she wrote. “Weatherly had a habit of exaggerated eye-balling and leering at me; once, he leaned into my body and inhaled, smelling me in a dramatic swoon. As was caught on tape, after I flubbed a line, he shouted in my face, ‘I will take you over my knee and spank you like a little girl.'”

Dushku also referred to an incident in which Weatherly, while filming a scene involving a windowless van, said he would take her to his “rape van, filled with all sorts of lubricants and long phallic things”. She also alleged that he played provocative songs as she walked onto set, joked about having a threesome with her and referred to her simply as “legs”.


Dushku had signed on to the series for three episodes in March 2017, with plans to become a regular. But according to her op-ed and The New York Times article, days after she approached Weatherly to express her discomfort at his comments, her character, criminal defence lawyer J.P. Nunnelly, was written out of the show.

“Weatherly texted CBS Television President David Stapf about 40 minutes after our conversation and asked for what amounted to my being written off the show. Specifically, Weatherly complained that I had a ‘humour deficit’,” she wrote.

“I do not want to hear that I have a ‘humour deficit’ or can’t take a joke. I did not overreact. I took a job and, because I did not want to be harassed, I was fired.”

In a statement issued to The New York Times, Weatherly, most famous for his role in TV hit NCIS, apologised for the pain his “jokes” had caused Dushku.

“During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script,” he said. “When Eliza told me that she wasn’t comfortable with my language and attempt at humour, I was mortified to have offended her and immediately apologised. After reflecting on this further, I better understand that what I said was both not funny and not appropriate and I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza.”

According to Dushku, no apology was ever given.

Dushku became a vocal player in the Hollywood #metoo movement earlier this year, after going public with allegations that she was sexually assaulted by a stunt coordinator while filming the 1994 movie “True Lies”. She was just 12 years old at the time.

“The ever-growing list of sexual abuse and harassment victims who have spoken out with their truths have finally given me the ability to speak out,” she wrote on Facebook in January. “It has been indescribably exhausting, bottling this up inside me for all of these years.”

The man at the centre of the allegations has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

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